Laser treatment for various medical or cosmetic conditions has grown in popularity over the years as the technology used to perform these procedures has improved. Toenail fungus is often considered both a medical and cosmetic concern because of the pain the infection can cause as well as the yellowish, crusty appearance of the toenail. Dr. Cosentino and VIP Aesthetics utilize Cutera Laser Genesis in stopping the growth of toenail fungus.
How it Works
Laser energy from the Laser Genesis system is delivered to the toenail area to prevent the infection from progressing. The laser will target the fungus present under the toenail. Surrounding skin, tissue, and even the nail itself is not harmed by the laser energy. The procedure does not cause pain, nor does it require an anesthetic.
Length of Treatment Sessions
Most treatment sessions are performed in less than half an hour, with some performed in as little as ten minutes. This will largely depend on the number of toenails that are affected and, therefore, how many toenails require treatment.
Recovery from Treatment
This is a non-invasive procedure so you can come in for treatment and return to your normal routine shortly after. There is no required downtime afterwards. While there are generally no restrictions placed on the activities in which you can engage, wearing shoes that allow plenty of room for the toes and keeping the feet dry is encouraged. Fungus likes warm, damp environments such as in shoes, locker rooms, showers, and around pools.
Results and Expectations
Be sure to inquire about results with Dr. Cosentino so you understand what to expect. In some cases, patients require only one treatment session with the Laser Genesis method and most are effectively treated with just three sessions. The results may not be evident right away, as time must be afforded for the nail to grow. The new nail growth should not feature any fungus, as the laser treatment works to stop the condition from progressing.
Tips to Prevent Toenail Fungal Infections
It is important to understand that recurrence of toenail fungus is a possibility. This is especially true if proper precautions are not taken to avoid exposure to fungus or areas where fungus may thrive. As mentioned, fungus likes warm, damp areas.
Locker rooms, public pools, and similar areas frequented by many people are prime grounds for fungus, so avoid going barefoot in these areas. Avoid sharing shoes and socks with other people, change your shoes and socks if they become damp or wet, and dry your feet thoroughly after showering or swimming. Do not share towels, nail clippers, or other items that may spread toenail fungus.
Fungus may enter the toenail area through very small cracks that may not even be visible to the naked eye, so some infections may occur even if precautions are taken. While proper hygiene may not itself prevent fungal infections, cleaning the feet regularly and keeping the toenails properly trimmed may be helpful in promoting overall foot and toenail health.